Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin, which is the skin that covers the tip of the penis. In the United States, it is often done before a new baby leaves the hospital. There are medical benefits and risks to circumcision. Possible benefits include a lower risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The risks include pain and a low risk of bleeding or infection. These risks are higher for older babies, boys and men.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend routine circumcision. Parents need to decide what is best for their sons, based on their religious, cultural and personal preferences.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 02 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 14 July 2008